DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson women's soccer team has been predicted to finish sixth in the 10-team Atlantic Sun Conference standings this fall, according to the preseason coaches poll released by the conference office Monday. Senior defender Alexis Hermosa (Orlando, Fla.) was the only Hatter named to the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team.
If the predicted standings are correct, Stetson will qualify for its ninth consecutive A-Sun Tournament. In 2010, the Hatters finished seventh in the A-Sun and reached the postseason as the #6 seed (regular season champion FGCU was ineligible due to re-classification probation) where they knocked off third-seeded North Florida 1-0 thanks to an 89th-minute free-kick goal by Hermosa. Stetson fell in the semifinals to eventual A-Sun tournament champion Mercer; the Hatters have reached the semifinal round two years in a row and five times in the last eight seasons.
Hermosa started all 20 games for Stetson on the back line in 2010 and notched three goals and two assists in the process. In addition to the goal against UNF, she scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win at Southeast Missouri State (Sept. 10) and recorded the first of Stetson's 29 goals of 2010 in a 4-3 win over Florida Atlantic (Aug. 20).
FGCU was picked by the head coaches to defend its regular season title, earning six of the 10 first place votes and 96 points overall. Jacksonville took second with 83 points and one first place vote while defending tournament champion Mercer (80 points, one first place vote) and Kennesaw State (79 points, two first place votes) were close behind in third and fourth. North Florida was picked fifth with 54 points, slightly ahead of the Hatters (47). Rounding out the projected field are Belmont (44), ETSU (37), Lipscomb (17) and USC Upstate (13).
FGCU defender KC Correllus was slated to repeat as A-Sun Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year; the remainder of the team includes Hermosa, FGCU goalkeeper Stephanie Powers, Belmont defender Gretchen Sutch, Mercer midfielder Olivia Tucker, Jacksonville midfielders Liz Fink and Jessica Hurtado, FGCU midfielder Olivia Elias and UNF forward Lauren Hopfensperger along with Kennesaw State forwards Alyssa Mahan and Brittany Vining.
Stetson begins its exhibition schedule Friday, August 12 with a 7:30 pm kickoff against Brevard Community College at the Stetson Soccer Complex. Another exhibition at the same time and site will follow Tuesday, August 16 against Florida Tech. The regular season will begin for the Hatters at 7:00 pm Friday, August 19 at home against FIU.
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